Can someone hit snooze on the alarm clock for a bit longer, please?

Image: ticking clocks

One minute you’re bobbing along fine and dandy, not a care in the world apart from where the next night out / weekend away / holiday is coming from. The next minute – BAM – society’s on your back and the sound of everyone’s opinionated voices coincides quite horrifically with that awful biological clock of yours that has started ticking ever so noisily of late.

I’m absolutely sure I’m recounting an age-old tale here that all women experience at some point in their lives but I guess we all have our own unique take on this timeless story.

For me, it all changed when I got to 26 (I’m now 28). I’d always been open-minded, indifferent, whatever about the prospect of having a family until I’d been with my partner for a couple of years and started to think, ‘this is someone I really love and I could see myself having a family with this person in the future.’

It was around about this point when the questions really began from other people. Or perhaps I’d been asked these questions for a long while but had only begun to take notice of them when I was inwardly asking myself the same thing.

“When are you going to have children?”

“You’re 26 now; you can’t mess around forever, you know.” (Ok, so that’s more of a really irritating opinion rather than a question).

So, the past couple of years have generally been filled with me asking myself, and listening to other people ask me, when I’m going to pop out some kids. And I’m still none the wiser, purely because, for one reason or another, it’s just not the right time right now and to be honest, I don’t know when it will be.

I’ve also been asking myself how, exactly, has society managed to get me in such a stranglehold? I’m an intelligent woman so why are my thoughts being dominated by babies, babies, babies – this is surely not all I’m ultimately about?!

What I’d ideally like is a holiday away from society, some time away in which I can just be ME and not worry about what the future holds, not wonder constantly about whether I’m making the right decisions blah, blah, blah. But in reality, I ain’t ever going to escape the sound of this ticking clock until it either ‘just happens’ or it becomes too late.

 

Have you, as a woman, found yourself pressurised by society to have children? Has the sound of your ticking ‘clock’ taken you by surprise?! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

5 Comments

  1. Sophie- Imogen's Imagination December 18, 2012 / 8:26 pm

    well, as a confirmed 33 year old singleton, a full time employee and a self-employed business woman…ive taken the batteries out of my clock!

    i firmly believe you cant have it all, no matter what the magazines, celebrities or uber mums say.

    in my opinion (and this is only my opinion based on the experiences of colleagues and accquaintances!) you have to have a local support network to raise children and stand any chance of being able to maintain a life outside of being a full time carer. whether thats free support from partner/family/friends or paid by way of nursery/childminders, its crucial to give you as person time to be YOU!

    i dont have any support network, i dont have any living space in my house (mortgaged!) for a baby/child without losing my workspace, and i dont have the finances to support an extra mouth to be fed, watered, clothed and cared for by a paid third party if both my full-time and self employed hours were to be cut sufficiently to allow me to raise my child. (unless i marry rich of course, but if he chips off leaving me to hold the baby, theres not much chance of that! lol)

    i made my choice several years ago to focus on spending every spare minute to build my business into a successful venture and i freely admit that this has been at the cost of my social life outside of business related events. but i dont regret it, my business is my baby and it will continue to make me happy for years to come…and theres not a nappy in sight and the only tantrums are my own! ;o)

    my only regret, as we prepare for my younger brothers wedding next year, is that i wont be able to offer my parents the chance to become grandparents. its not a conversation we have had, but it is one that im morbidly fascinated by, if im totally honest, but i suspect at some point we will have to have that chat.

    my biggest fear about remaining childless, it thats theres a bit of me that wonders that if the folks say “we dont mind” whether i will ever actually believe them or will i feel that i have in some way disappointed or deprived tham of some kind of ‘natural right’ as parents? would that be worse than them saying outright that they do feel disappointed?

    x

    • jenieveve January 2, 2013 / 9:48 pm

      Hi Sophie,

      Many thanks for your comments! I completely agree with what you say about having time to be yourself, which is why I felt so frustrated when I got to 26 and was being greeted with questions about when on earth I was going to have children!

      Whilst there isn’t always an ideal time to have children, there is an awful lot to consider if it’s something you want from your life and to be honest, I think I’d be in the same boat without a support network so I don’t think it’s really the right time for me to consider a family now, as much as I’d like one.

      I only wish I was quite as fulfilled by my current career as you are – your work is fab!

      xx

  2. Alex December 23, 2012 / 1:38 pm

    Hi Jenny, it’s Alex here. I’ve heard a little bit about your quandary from Jo, and I’m sure you can suspect what my comment would be……….if you try to ignore the ticking clock until its too late, you will forever regret it. You’re still quite young in some ways, but fertility declines rapidly from the age of 35 (as I’m sure you’ve been told ad nauseum).

    I’m not sure where you’re up to in your personal life now, but if you have to leave someone to make your baby dreams come true, then don’t hesitate. You know how much I thought I loved someone, and only wanted him etc etc……once I had my son, my feelings for him changed in an instant! I have a really good friend that we go on holiday with…..she is now a single mother to two boys….her ex didn’t want kids but she knew without a shadow of a doubt, that she wanted to be a mum. She went the donor sperm route (whilst still with her partner), convinced that he would come round to the idea once the baby was here. He didn’t, and she found herself having to move out within 2 weeks of the birth. At first she wondered what the hell she had done, and had a very tough few weeks. Now she simply cannot believe for a moment that she could have missed out on motherhood for him! He doesn’t feature in her life at all and we have both now said that we cannot imagine loving any man ever again!!

    I’m sure given time, once our boys have grown up a bit more, the old hormones will kick in again, and we may want something more from life, and start another journey. I do know one thing though….I will never ever ever have any regrets about having my son. He quite simply is the best thing in my life (even though he can be very annoying at times!)

    You are still young enough to have it all. You won’t need to go it alone in all likelihood. But you need to make your mind up fairly soon, or your life will tick on, and you will find yourself in your late 30’s wondering why you didn’t do something about it.

    I read Sophie’s comments above and I cannot imagine any job,or business being more rewarding than having a child.

    Anyway, hope I haven’t spoken out of turn…..everyone is different. I always knew I wanted to be a mum, maybe you won’t end up being a mum and being happy as Larry……but maybe you won’t….

    Xxx

    • jenieveve January 2, 2013 / 9:39 pm

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post!

      Over the past couple of years, I’ve definitely become certain that I want to have children, it’s just tough being in an otherwise happy relationship where that desire isn’t shared. The ins and outs of that situation I can’t really go into via the blog but I’m sure I’ll catch up with you soon in some way or another!

      Hope you had a fab Christmas and New Year :-) xxx

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